Stern and agent sought bonuses for subscribers
A New York judge has dismissed Howard Stern's lawsuit against his employer, Sirius XM, in which he and a co-plaintiff accused the company of stiffing them out of more than $300 million in stock bonuses.
In a sharp rebuke, New York State Supreme Court Judge Barbara R. Kapnick dismissed their suit with prejudice, which bars them from filing any new suits on the same grounds.
Also read: Stern Signs New 5-Year Deal With Sirius
Stern's company, One Twelve, Inc., and his agent, Don Buchwald, accused Sirius of denying them the bonuses for Sirius beating subscriber growth estimates. Under their 2004 deal for Stern to take his radio show to Sirius, Stern and Buchwald were to receive $75 million in stock for every 2 milion subscribers Sirius gained annually above the company's internal projections.
In 2007, Sirius transferred $75 million to One Twelve and $7.5 million to Buchwald after Sirius came in more than 2 million customers above estimates. But Stern and Buchwald contend that they were due another $300 million in stock bonuses in 2008 because Sirius' merger with XM increased Sirius' number of subscribers enough to trigger $300 million in bonuses.
Sirius argued that its deal with Stern did not include a bonus for added XM subscribers, and the court agreed that the agreement was unambiguous. The deal did call for Sirius to pay Stern's company $25 million and Buchwald $2.5 million if Sirius and XM merged, and Sirius did make the payments.
Stern signed a new 5-year contract with Sirius in December 2010.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this story.